There perhaps is no phenomenon in Indian films that commands a frenzy parallel to what Rajinikant does. True, there have been stars and superstars, actors and legends, heroes and superheroes, but the level of adulation that the southern star has been showered with over the years across the country make him a truly distinctive great of the times. With a fan presence that is unmatched and an aura that only continues to grow exponentially over the years, Rajini is a name that inspires mass hysteria. From delivering hits to trailing a monumental path of his own, here is one star who has sustained his stardom ever since. Rounding up such collection of hits from his massive movie panorama that defines the exclusive Rajini repertoire of reel life ravings-
As the movie that was remarkable in establishing Rajini as one of the top stars of south Indian cinema, Billa has been a massive hit with an enviable collection at the box office. In fact the 1980 movie was the first commercial biggie in Rajinikant’s now iconic career. A remake of the blockbuster Bollywood film Don, Billa also saw the actor in his first dual role that which not just redefined but also salvaged his then still nascent career. With a successful run of 25 weeks in the theaters, Billa marked the onset of the epoch that would come to characterise the phenomenon called Rajinikant for several decades hence.
Andha Kanoon (1983)
The film that marked the Bollywood debut of Rajinikant, Andha Kanoon has been special for more reasons than one. The first on screen collaboration of Rajini with superstar Amitabh Bachchan, the 1983 movie is among the hit names in the southern star’s gargantuan collection. Again a remake, this time of the Tamil film Sattam Oru Iruttarai, Andha Kanoon went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of that time. With worldwide box office collections standing at some Rs 10 crores then, which translates to approximately some 330 crores in today’s time, Rajinikant’s forays into Bollywood was definitely a carry over of his enormous legacy down south.
Raja Chinna Roja (1989)
The first Indian film to feature live action with animation, Raja Chinna Roja enjoyed a 175 day theatrical run at the box office. One of the few Rajini projects that was a film mainly for the kids, the movie ultimately came to be a defining moment in the cinematic scene pervading the country.
One amongst the most successful films of his career, Rajinikant earned tremendous acclaim with the 1995 film Baashha. Also amongst the highest grossing Tamil films of all time, Baashha was a commercial hit at the box office. With a worldwide gross collection of 38 crores back then, this Rajini movie ran also for a stupendous 368 days at the box office. In fact as one of the greatest commercial films ever made in the history of Tamil cinema, Baashha rests in a legacy of its own encompassing both Kollywood and Rajinikant. Also in conferring the status of a demi God to Rajinikant in Tamil Nadu, Baashha surely is one of the most notable outings of his career.
With over a 100 days run in the theaters, Veera had been one of the many commercial successes that Rajinikant had seen quite some time into his career. Opening to mixed reviews from critics and audience, the film however managed to gain steam even when it released alongside some couple of other movies. The romantic comedy eventually managed to matter at the box office, proving in fact to be instrumental in redeeming Rajinikant’s reputation after some not so successful commercial outings by becoming the highest grossing movie of the year.
Yet another remake and yet another of the big names in the Rajini hit movie collection is the 1995 film Muthu. A romantic drama that was the Tamil remake of a Malayalam film, Muthu had been one of the highest-grossing Tamil films at the time. While its 175 day run across Tamil Nadu indeed is one incredible feat, the movie also saw as phenomenal fame in Japan when the dubbed version was released there in 1998. The highest grossing Indian film in Japan even at present, Muthu was even described as “the ‘Titanic’ of the art theaters” at the time of its release in the country. Even otherwise, the film became a stupendous global hit, continuing as the highest grossing south Indian film in the international market for a complete decade.
Throughout his career, Rajinikant has starred in a number of films that has been the highest grossers of Tamil cinema up until that time in history. And one such monumental movie that makes for a significant part of the esteemed Rajini collection is Padayappa. With estimated earnings of Rs 440 million worldwide, the film’s commercial success is noteworthy. Also the biggest Kollywood opener at that time, Padayappa went on to define the greatest hits of Rajinikant’s career. What makes this 1999 film even more significant in its success is that its release came at a time when Kollywood was going through a rough patch. But even in the face of uncertainty, the film went on to become a major success not just in India but also internationally.
With a theatrical run of 890 days, Chandramukhi became the longest running film not just in Kollywood but in the entire south Indian film industry when it released in 2005. A horror comedy, this name in the Rajini hit movie collection also was the first Tamil movie to be dubbed in German and grossed some 90 crores as its lifetime collection. Critically acclaimed for his performance as well as commercially successful with its entertainment factor, Rajinikant undoubtedly shone through in the film which remains one of the highest grossing Tamil films of all time.
Sivaji: The Boss (2007)
With a worldwide gross collection of around 150 crores, Sivaji was an epic hit movie that saw Rajini star opposite Shriya Saran. As the first South Indian film to gross over 100 crores, Sivaji is one of the most significant of Kollywood ventures. A National Film Award winner, the film was also the costliest of its time and a true blockbuster as a gripping action thriller. With largely mediocre critical response however, the film could not grow to be one of those cult classics that would have held the power to redefine Tamil cinema at large. Nevertheless in smashing box office records by having Rajini fans spellbound once again by his mavericks, Sivaji: The Boss did what only few other movies had managed to do up until that time in Indian cinematic history.
In being among the highest grossing Indian films of all time, Enthiran is one of the biggies in the history of cinema in the country. With two National Film Awards and a slew of other such accolades in its kitty, the 2010 venture had also been the most expensive of Indian films ever made at that point of time in history. The fourth highest grossing south Indian film of all time behind a couple of Telugu hits and another Rajini hit, Enthiran went on to collect some 291 crores worldwide. A science fiction action film that also starred Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Enthiran became as massive a hit across its dubbed Hindu and Telugu versions as well. Critically lauded and commercially successful, Enthiran is another stupendous high for Rajini in his more than 150 strong movie collection.
Linga proved to be quite an ambiguous name in the vast movie collection that Rajini has conjured up over the years in sheer display of his extraordinary lineage. The movie managed to gross some 198 crores worldwide which was well over and above its budget of 130 crores. Yet in causing Kollywood the biggest loss till date, Lingaa had to go down in Rajinikant’s career as one of his flop films.
The first Indian film to be released in the world’s largest movie hall in France, Kabali will always be remembered as a mainstay of Rajinikant’s illustrious career. As the first Tamil film to break into the 200 crore club, Kabali reestablished the undying legacy of Rajini and his huge bankability when it comes to delivering monumental hits. Not just the film, even the teaser of Kabali broke records to become the highest viewed Indian film teaser with 10 million views in three days. The worldwide box office collections of Kabali stood at some 286 crores with also the highest worldwide opening figures for a South Indian film, surpassing the record set even by Baahubali: The Beginning. Kabali however fell short of expectations when it came to critical reception. However the ensuing successful run at the box office made the film another of the gems in Rajinikant’s illustrious lineup.
The sequel to the blockbuster Enthiran, 2.0 proved to be as blockbuster a hit among the collection of Rajini movie. With 2.0, Rajinikant also consolidated his status as starring in the most expensive Indian film ever. The second highest grossing film in the country, 2.0 released also in its Hindi and Telugu dubbed versions apart from its original Tamil version to the second highest openings for an Indian film. With generally favourable critical reviews as well particularly for its stupendous special effects, the film went on to gross an estimated 800 crores worldwide. In being among the most notable movies ever produced in India, 2.0 sure is one legit encompassment of Rajinikant’s stellar career.
Another action drama that counts among the highest grosser of Rajini from his movie collection is the 2019 film Petta. With global earnings estimated to gross anywhere between 220 to 250 crores, the film received mixed critical reviews. Petta also made Rajinikant the only south Indian star to have four of his films minting more than 200 crores at the box office.
Estimated box office collections of 2.5 billion worldwide makes Rajinikant’s 2020 release Darbar also among the commercial hits of his career. Bettering his record with a collection better than the previous with each movie, Rajini has surely and steadily manifested his presence as a force to reckon with not just in Kollywood but within the holistic sphere of the Indian filmy world. Despite opening to mixed reviews from critics, Darbar shaped an illustrious 45 years of existence in showbiz for one of the greatest Indian celebrities of this generation.